Speaker Paul Ryan and Leader Mitch Mc Connell Hold News Conference CSPAN January 26, 2017 8:40pm-9:02pm EST
[indistinct talking] [chanting] >> house speaker paul ryan and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell spoke to attendees at the republican congressional retreat on thursday morning about
the legislative and policy agenda for the first few hundred days of the trump administration. here's a look. representative ryan: good morning, everybody. i want to congratulate the
leader on his sweater. we are bringing argyle back. we are very serious on this. we are actually having a fantastic opportunity right here in philadelphia, where our constitution was inked, with the declaration was signed. weare talking about how improve people's lives and get our country back on track. house republicans and senate republicans are working on a plan and a bold agenda to get moving and working with our new administration. we're going to be hosting vice president pence, president trump, and we have prime minister may coming as well. we have a big agenda that we are working on. that is what we are here to discuss. with that, i turn it over to the majority leader. senator mcconnell: thank you. one of the things that is going to be explored here is the new relationship with the united kingdom. one of our earliest an
llies. it opens the opportunity for the president to discuss with the prime minister the possibility of a bilateral trade agreement with the british pickle -- the british people. in the senate, as you know, we are concentrating on getting the president's cabinet in place. we will have a busy week in that regard, starting monday. we will also be taking congressional review proposals from the house and taking those up as well as we begin to change america and go in a different direction. representative ryan: questions? casey? >> [inaudible] fraud -- are you on the same page? representative ryan: we are on the same page. we've been working with the administration on a daily basis
to map out and plan a very bold and aggressive agenda to make good on our campaign promises and to fix these problems, to repeal and replace our broken health care system, to reform our tax code, to clear out the regulatory underbrush so we can get growth going. we have worked with the administration on the kind of timetable and legislative agenda we have for 2017. yes we are on the same page. >> [inaudible] how surprised are you every time there's a new tweet? representative ryan: this will be an unconventional president. i think we're going to see unconventional activities and i think that is something we are to have to get used to. senator mcconnell: let me just add, myself, i don't tend to be reacting to daily comments. what the speaker has done, which i concur with, and the administration is on board with, is to lay out a game plan
through the august recess of what we want to try to accomplish. andtend to stick to a plan make as much progress as we can. the president has demanded that mexico pay for the law. the mexican president said they will not pay for the wall. donald trump just said the mexican president should cancel the upcoming meeting to mexico if he will not pay for the wall. do you think the president should salvage this relationship with mexico? senator mcconnell: i don't have any advice to the president about that issue. we are moving ahead. as the speaker pointed out , $12 billion to $15 billion, so we intend to address the wall issue ourselves. the president can deal with his relations with other countries on that issue and other issues.
>> [inaudible] representative ryan: i think we will be fine. >> [inaudible] the president's opinion appears to change from day-to-day -- representative ryan: i would not describe it that way. you will see different emphasis, but with respect to the core agenda that we have laid out for our members, that we are planning and coordinating, we've done this in conjunction with the administration. we ran on these issues all of 2016. there's no surprise here. the president agrees with this agenda. we laid out not just the issues, but the timeline. that has not changed. >> [inaudible] publiclydent has said
he doesn't like it. has he told you specifically -- representative ryan: we are in a good place on tax reform. it can get complicated when you get into the details. once we go through how tax reform works and what is going to take to get the kind of competitive taxes and tax rates, i think most people agree this is the right approach. we are to work the legislative process through. >> [inaudible] president trump has signaled that he wants to look at, maybe modify the ban on torture. is this a debate that your members want to have? what is your take on the issue? senator mcconnell: the director of cia has read it clear he's going to follow the law. i believe virtually all of my members are comfortable with the state of the law on that issue now. representative ryan: and torture
is not legal. we agree with it not being legal. the lady in the black. just how important is making a deal with britain and how --ficult politically [inaudible] representative ryan: the last part of your question, that is not policy from the trump administration. we have a very, very special and unique relationship with great britain. we value this relationship area i think the fact that the prime minister is coming to meet with us today is testament to the fact that this is a very important relationship and we believe we can do more things like trade and the rest to help increase our bonds and our ties and to help our two nations. speaker ryan has laid out a very aggressive agenda for the
next 200 days. we know that the senate is not always on the same timetable. senator mcconnell: really? >> could you address the agenda , whetherut, and what the senate can move at that speed? senator mcconnell: the biggest issues we are moving forward with our obviously repealing and replacing obamacare, and tax reform. both of those we anticipate having little or no democratic cooperation. we are working with the house to make sure these measures are , and the speaker understands the challenges of getting things through the senate. that has been true for 240 years. we are aware of those challenges and we think we can move forward. we have all this of responsibility the house doesn't have. 0 presidential appointments. we are big in the personnel business. that is why you can anticipate
two reconciliation measures in the first six months. representative ryan: let me jump on that. we in the house respect the fact that they have a different system and it takes more time, and that they have additional responsibility as the majority leader just said, approving not just cabinet secretaries, judges, lower-level appointments, with 1200 i think altogether. our agenda is designed to incorporate that as well. that is something we've walked our members through so they can appreciate the difference between the house and senate. even with all of that, we have a very good agenda and timetable in store. you talked a lot about this plan and agenda. can you give us one specific deadline that you think congress will be able to reach on any of these issues?
wall, is thate going to be offset? representative ryan: we don't want to set arbitrary deadlines. we want to get things right. we want to move quickly but get things right. there are statutory deadlines that we will have to deal with. april 28 is a pretty important deadline. those are the things that clearly are going to help guide us. the reason we've moved our is to to a 200-day agenda appreciate the last question, which is the senate has to do more things. we are anticipating a supreme court justice. they have to process that. that is why we've moved our agenda to filling most of the calendar for 2017. we feel that we have an obligation to make good on the commitments we made in this campaign. we are trying to fix peoples problems in this country. health care is collapsing. the economy is nowhere near its potential.
regulatory reform and tax reform are important for faster economic growth, more jobs, higher wages. these are the things people elected us to do. it is going to take more than simply 100 days. the cost of the wall, first of all, we have to get the omb director, and we will and -- willparate anticipate a supplemental. we will process that before the current fiscal year expires. >> bringing up statutory deadlines, obviously if you are doing health-care reform, you've got a lot on your plate. last year, without all that, you did not get the appropriations bill passed in the house. will you have time to do the appropriations, and what about the debt ceiling deadline as well? senator mcconnell: on the appropriations, senate democrats
last year with president obama in the white house believed it was to their advantage to not have an appropriations process. they prevented us from going to the defense appropriation bill multiple times. i'm hopeful that with a different president in the white house they won't conclude that it is to their advantage to prevent some semblance of a normal appropriations process. we do have a heavy non-appropriations agenda, as the speaker has laid out, but we hope we can have some semblance of a regular order, even with all this, and get at least some appropriations bills through the senate so we will have something closer to a regular order appropriations process. most members don't like being completely irrelevant. administrationhe -- it was particularly absurd to
hand the previous administration a blank check. we
are not going to want to hand this one a blank check either. representative ryan: we budgeted a lot of time for appropriations. we will, in consultations with the treasury secretary, find out when they anticipate the penetration of the debt ceiling. that is something we're going to deal with at that time. we don't do people shouting out, ok? >> [inaudible] representative ryan: it is quite the opposite, chad. president obama used his executive orders to exceed his
power in our perspective. everything president obama did by executive order, this president can undo. we would like to see these things undone and we would like to see power restored to people in the states, not the federal government. he's restoring the proper balance. in our opinion, he is on doing a lot of damage that was done by the vice president, who exceeded his power. [inaudible] you dealt with a lot of issues with the secure fence, environmental lawsuits, private property owners who had issues. how are you going to deal with those same issues you dealt with back then? representative ryan: i think if you look at the history of the secure fence act, the last administration frustrated the deployment of the fence. this administration is doing the opposite. they are facilitating the deployment of the fence.
we voted for this in 2006 along with people like our friend, chuck schumer. now we're going to deploy this fence and we will anticipate a supplemental coming from the administration shortly on how to finish construction and funding the fence. if there are any other barriers, we will deal with those barriers. a lot of those barriers, we think, can be done by executive order, just like the last administration frustrated the deployment of the fence, or the wall. offset the cost of the law, and if so, how? are you saying that by august recess you will both have a tax reform bill enacted into law, and obamacare replacement and acted? representative ryan: as far as the offset, we are going to wait and see what the supplemental looks like. i'm not going to get ahead of a policy in the bill that has not been written yet.
the point is we are going to finance the construction of the physical barrier on the border. we have ambitious goals and timelines. our goal is to get these laws done in 2017. we aspire to get most of these things done by the august recess. by and large, our goal is, by the end of 2017, we have made good on so many of the promises we made to the people, and the policies we ran on. the reason we are doing this is because there are people hurting in this country. america is not anywhere near its potential. we want faster economic growth, a healthier economy, more wages, and we want american businesses to be able to compete. we are losing businesses left and right. they are moving overseas, inverting, and becoming foreign companies. we have to fix this so we keep american businesses in america. we believe tax reform can put american businesses in a better
position to keep his misses here and make things in america and export them around the world. health care, you will know the law is collapsing. double-digit premium increases. deductibles are so high, they are three times the size of those in a large group market. this law is collapsing. one states only have health-care insurance company, one health-care plan. one out of three counties in america only have one health-care plan. that is a monopoly. we believe on behalf of the american people that are struggling under this law,
we have to act. remember,connell: bill clinton said last year, it is the craziest thing you've ever seen. eight out of 10 americans want it either repealed entirely or dramatically changed. if hillary clinton were president and chuck schumer were the majority leader, we would be
revisiting obamacare. the status quo is unacceptable. if hillary clinton was president and chuck schumer where majority leader, we would be moving toward a single-payer system. that is not our view of how this should be handled. but status quo is completely unsustainable. >> can both of you speak ?pecifically about your agenda can you say that the republican party, in the majority now, will not take actions that add to the deficit? we're not going to have higher deficits from actions you are taking, whether on taxes, obamacare, infrastructure? whenever anybody comes in and they have all the power, it is easier to borrow and there's a lot of pressures to pass out goodies. can you make that commitment now that at the end of the year you won't have passed more deficit spending? representative ryan: we are
fiscal conservatives. what that means is we believe government should not live beyond its means. we believe hard-working taxpayers deserve a break in this country. that means break, and washington to take less money. we need to take the physical house in order to protect us in the future. there are two things we can do that will move us in a great direction on fiscal policy, get health care fixed. the driving force of the coming debt crisis, out of control health care programs that are collapsing, if we can bring more choice and competition until we have better cost and lower prices, that would dramatically improve the budget situation. then we can get people back to work. we get people back into the workforce, it is better for them. we need them in the economy. we need these people working for the sake of them in our communities. that means we have more people
paying faster economic growth and more. that is some of the best things we can do to prevent the oncoming debt crisis we know is coming. we are fiscal conservatives. if we are going to spend on infrastructure, we will pay for that in our spring budget. those are the things we plan on doing. that is why we have laid out for members of very old and aggressive agenda to make good on these things. if we get these done, we really believe we will get the country on the back -- on the right track. >> thank you, everybody, we have got to go. paul ryan: thank you.